China's Speedy Rails Going Overseas
China's popular high-speed rails and trains are catching on overseas and the country's technology is in big demand in many countries including the United States, Latin America and Europe, government officials said during the sessions of China's top legislature and advisory body on Saturday.
Wang Zhiguo, vice minister of the Ministry of Railways, said China plans to bid on a project to build high-speed rails in the US after President Barack Obama urged cooperation between the two countries to work on high-speed rails during his visit to China last year.
"The ministry signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation with the GE Corporation. We have sent a team to the US for investigation and arranged relevant enterprises to bid," Wang said.
Currently, China is building high-speed railways in Turkey and Venezuela and will bid for similar projects in Brazil.
China has no plans to work with Russia on high-speed railway projects, Wang said.
But the country signed a memorandum of understanding on high-speed railways with Russia in October.
Other countries seeking cooperation with China on high-speed railways include Saudi Arabia, Poland, India, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Thailand.
"Based on the principle of mutual benefit, China would like to share the advanced technology with the world to promote the development of high-speed railways," Wang said.
China's total mileage of railways is ranked first in the world, accounting for 6,552 kilometers. More than 10,000 kilometers of high-speed railways are under construction.
The country's high-speed railway will reach 120,000 kilometers by 2020, which is a milestone for the country's railway history since current problems with getting a train ticket could be solved by then.
"China has completed 3,676 kilometers of newly built tracks with a top speed of 350 kilometers per hour and 2,876 kilometers elevated rail lines with a speed of up to 250 kilometers per hour," Wang added.
China will expand the high-speed railway network to become the world's largest by 2013, with Wuhan at the hub.
"It will take fewer than 4 hours to travel from Wuhan to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Chengdu," Liu Zhijun, Minister of Railways, said.
High-speed rails from Beijing to Wuhan are expected to open for service by the end of next year.
According to an earlier report by Changjiang Daily, China is planning a cross-Straits rail link to connect Chinese mainland with Taiwan (Kunming- Ximen-Taiwan), which will be anchored in Fujian Province.
"The west coast of the Strait is an important part in the network planning. Building the high-speed rail to Taiwan is in the medium and long-term plan but so far it is in the initial research period," said Zheng Jian, planner in chief of the ministry.
Huang Qiang, a CPPCC delegate and chief researcher of Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences, said a new generation of high-speed trains would be ready for use.
The trains will come with eight carriages and could carry up to 500 passengers, Huang said.
"The test speed of the new trains will reach 420 kilometers per hour and will be put into service in 2012, running between Beijing and Shanghai," he said.
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